Prior to Bethesda’s bombshell reveal for Fallout 4, many expected the developer to set a new precedent for game announcements. Rather than let the usual marketing cycle run its course – that is: game announcement, a year or two of trailers and demos, and then release – many hoped Bethesda might announce Fallout 4 and then say it was bound for release a few months later.
These theories were largely informed by prior rumors and the fact that Bethesda had yet to announce a new game in nearly four years. We knew the developer was working on something, and almost every sign pointed to that something being Fallout 4.
As it turns out, most assumptions about Fallout 4 were correct, as confirmed by Bethesda’s VP of Marketing, Pete Hines. In a recent interview with Gamespot, Hines confirms that Fallout 4 was “basically done” before the game was even revealed via the awesome trailer from a few months back.
“The game is basically done. It was by and large done before we announced it, in terms of the features going in. You’re not adding new features in May, June, July in the year you’re releasing; you’re trying to get everything fixed.”
It’s important to clarify that “basically done” does not mean that Bethesda was free and clear post-trailer, but rather that all essential features to the game – like the home base customization and new Power Armor options – were already in place and decided upon. We’re sure there were plenty more taks the developers at Bethesda needed to complete, and need to complete, after the trailer reveal and Bethesda’s E3 2015 Press Conference, but it’s still refreshing to see a studio take a smarter approach.
By that we mean many games are revealed well before their release, and in most cases those games are little more than concepts. The studio knows what they’d like to do with the game, more or less, but there is still a lot more work to be done before a demo or trailer turns into a finished product. Most infamously, BioShock Infinite debuted at E3 2011 with a stunning behind closed doors presentation, but that was all Irrational Games had at the time. What was shown back then and what was eventually released weren’t terribly different from each other, mind you, but some of the features suggested by that demo did not make it into the final game. That’s something Bethesda wanted to avoid, and thus they had to wait to announce Fallout 4.
It’s a good thing Bethesda did wait, though, because it means we won’t have to wait too long to get our hands on the game. Fallout 4 is easily one of the most anticipated games of this fall, and of the year, and it should sell huge in November. Just look at how well the Pip-Boy Edition did; Bethesda sold so many that their manufacturer had to tell them, “No more!”
Are you surprised that Fallout 4 was announced after it was feature complete? Should more developers deploy Bethesda’s approach?
Fallout 4 releases November 10, 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.